US stainless steel market roundup from MEPS

US stainless steel market roundup from MEPS

Market activity levels for hot rolled coil and plate have decreased, in the United States, according to MEPS. Demand from the energy industry, in Texas and Canada, for example, has slowed since oil prices began to drop. Pipe makers are now buying for their immediate needs, rather than, as they did previously, holding inventory in order to avoid nickel price volatility.

Cold rolled coil order volumes have decreased, since the beginning of the year. The continuing downward trend in nickel values has affected business confidence, in a market already characterised by mediocre demand. While our quoted prices reflect no increase in the discount to the mills’ list prices, we have unconfirmed reports of suppliers conceding lower effective values.

Distributors report a decent flow of orders for stainless bar products, albeit for, predominantly, small quantities. This is a consequence of customers operating on a hand-to-mouth basis, due to their uncertainty about future raw material values. The predicted deficit in nickel supply has not materialised and there is not sufficient demand from stainless steel production to change that, in the short term.

Source: MEPS – Stainless Steel Review – June Issue

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